New Delhi, June 3 : Defence Minister A K Antony today called for a greater coordination between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Armed Forces to achieve the goal of self-reliance and minimize country's over-dependence on foreign nations.
Addressing the meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry, he said DRDO has a 'crucial role in providing strategic defence with suitable delivery systems to the nation'.
He complimented DRDO for developing ballistic missile defence. Reminding of the past event when on December 6, 2007, an exo-atmospheric interceptor missile shot down a hostile missile off the coast of Orissa, he said with this success, India had joined an elite club of United States Of America (USA), Russia, China and Israel who possess this capability.
Listing other achievements of the DRDO, he said it has also developed tactical systems such as missiles, radars, electronic warfare systems, Sound Navigation and Rangings (SONARs), torpedoes, armaments, Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas, Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), aircraft upgradation programme, Tank Arjun and BrahMos Missile.
Nations are unwilling to part with strategic defence technologies, or at best willing to provide previous generation tactical systems and that too on unacceptable terms and conditions. In this scenario, there is a strong need to optimize self-reliance in these areas. India could not depend on other countries for its defence requirements due to bitter experiences in the past, Antony said.
"We have devised the policy of offset, the key element of which is transfer of technology. This will lead to a strong industrial base for the country," he said.
Members of Parliament (MPs) present at the occasion agreed with Antony. They however, expressed concern at project delays and quality of some of the products developed by DRDO over the years.
Speaking on the occasion, the Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister M Natarajan said development of strategic systems was being given highest priority by DRDO. The organisation is also developing cutting edge technology in partnership with Academia and Industry.